There is always this weird season for me between spring (which is to say, school and sports and parental responsibility) and summer (which is to say, fire season). It's that few days-to-weeks of nothingness when the girls are shifting into either dad's house or the voluntarily exclusion of parental involvement, depending on their age. It's when I suddenly have no obligations to softball, basketball, volleyball, parent meetings for God-only-knows-which-activities, end-of-the-year-barbecues to avoid or schedules to adhere to. It is, in a worth, nothingness. No man's land. Limbo. Here I am. This year is especially nothingful since I got temporarily laid off from my other job and in the next seven days I LITERALLY (not even in the junior high sense) have only one appointment on my entire calendar.
Most people would be basking in the serenity of a demandless existence, but here I am, 7:20 AM, wide awake and restless. Yesterday I went "jogging" and biking, submitted three stories to magazines and cooked four different meals, and was still wandering around the house like a zombie. This morning I started the ONLY LOAD OF LAUNDRY I have left (I was saving it) before I even had coffee. I have no idea why, because now my day is a blank slate: tabula rasa. Nothing.
For all of my complaining and whining about a busy schedule during the rest of the year, when it all falls away and I can hear the sound of me talking to myself echoing off of the empty walls of my brain, I feel lost. Any minute I could get called to a fire and go instantly into panic mode since I have only half packed in case I have to fly to the Southwest. But in the meantime... I don't even know what to do with myself.
So far this week I've doubled my tan at the river, drank a month's supply of Miller High Life and written more words than anybody wants to read. And it's only Tuesday. I could probably do some deep cleaning of my house, but then what will I do tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that? And then I will go on a fire and it will just get destroyed by the teenage invasion, even though they will tell me that Noone was here.
I keep telling people that I am trying to view these nothingness days as my pre-fire season "vacation", but I am not vacationing very well. I am staring at walls, wracking my brain for productive things to do. The crazy part is, I am dreading a fire call. I don't even want to go. I want to do life here, now, except it feels like there isn't much life to do. Everything feels unnecessary. I feel unnecessary. I have books to read. I could watch TV. But every time I start I get so bored with the uselessness of it that I wander off to find a blank wall to stare at. I send my friends, who are busy with their jobs and families, texts filled with longing: "Hi." "What are you up to?" Some of them know better than to respond this time of year, for fear of being sucked into the vacuum of my limboland, but some are good sports and go to the river with me and/or help me drink the beer.
It will all be over soon, this blankness, and I will try to enjoy it before it goes. But if you want to grab a beer... Or need help folding your laundry, well, you know where I'll be.